Posts tagged Oakland Baptist Church

Thursday Part 2 // February 3, 2012

The trip back from Las Mercedes took around one hour. After reaching the dorm we began the process of unloading and putting the tools away. We had a short time to relax before we would head out again.

Before going into Malacatan for dinner, and hopefully find our friends who labor on the streets there, we stopped by Ely’s grave site. It was an emotional visit.

Though we know our brother and friend is now with God his passing is still very fresh. He is greatly missed by many but none more than by Rosa and family.

Donna and I with Ely and Rosa at Palo Gordo 2, San Marcos in 2006.

Ely, a poor boy from Piedra Partida, barely a spot on the map, got his first pair of shoes when he was fourteen. Though his education was limited he was the wisest person that I have ever known. Like all of us, Ely wasn’t perfect, but the presence of God was so very evident in his life. God used Ely to reach many because Ely surrendered all to God. It was more than just singing the words of a great old hymn, or a repeated phrase. It was his life! A life totally yielded to the Lord. May I possess such a great treasure one day.

We arrived in Malacatan around 6p at out favorite Taco stand. Soon we were joined by Ronnie and a few friends who also work on the streets shining shoes and selling cookies.

Catching them with their mouths full wasn’t very hard. It was evident they were hungry.

Ronnie has grown a foot but still has his sweet boyish disposition.

Many of you have offered to help and some have given money for us to help Ronnie. He told me that he was going to school again and working afterwards into the night.

Our plan now is to meet his family in two weeks when I return with the Mars Hill team. I am praying that a local Christian business owner will allow him to work there for a few hours after school each day and we will pay his wage. This will give him a positive environment to work in and still be earning support for his family. Please continue praying for Ronnie as we seek this out.

Someone asked “what about the others?” All I can say is our hearts go out to all of them and we are going to look at this one by one on an individual basis and see where the Lord leads.

Also please pray for David, the shoe shine boy. Something is wrong in his life. He came by, but his humility was gone. I could tell the smaller boys guarded their words on his presence. I want to pry further into exactly what is going on in his life.

Tomorrow we’ll get on the road early making the long drive back to the city. We fly home on Saturday.

Thank you again and again and again for your prayers and support.

 

Lord bless you,

 

Lewis

A Brutal Sun and Wonderful Times

The sun was almost unbearable this morning. With little to no breeze and temps nearing 100 degrees, we struggled in our work.

Don Williams catches a short nap at lunch. The Lord brought clouds and a slight breeze in the afternoon. This gave us a boost and helped us continue the work.

By mid afternoon “the hole” was nearing completion or at least a stopping point.

One thing that I have noticed here is how happy the church members of Las Mercedes are. They too are sharing the heat with us, working side by side with the team and always smiling. They are so grateful for this small amount of help we are giving.

This is home to one dear elderly widowed sister in Christ. She was so very excited for us to visit her home. She told us that we were always welcome in her home.

With so little in earthly possessions. No cars or nice houses with running water or indoor facilities, no insurance or retirement benefits, but they have the genuine joy of the Lord.

This is the out door kitchen where our food is prepared. I guess it doubles as the church fellowship hall/the pastor’s  kitchen.

To witness a smile like this takes away all the discomfort of not having the luxuries we have all become accustom to.

Three surrendered their lives to Christ today and we praised God. Many  other seeds were planted verbally but the most seeds were sown by unspoken words. They were sown by the sweat on the brow and the acts of kindness given by the team. They knew that we were there because of what Christ has done in our lives. They watched as we surrendered to the heat but returned again to the task at hand. They saw us as we struggled together, working hand in hand, all in the name of Christ, and it spoke volumes to non believers and believers alike. And God is changing the village of Las Mercedes! Hallelujah!

It was 5pm and the river had been calling my name the past few hours. We hurried to change, grab a few bars of soap and head out.

Once there we wasted no time. Some ladies washing clothes got a good laugh at the gringos acting so foolishly but the water revived and refreshed our body and soul.

The week had flown by. We are humbled and grateful for this opportunity.

Lord bless you,

 

Lewis

Thursday Part 1 // February 3, 2012

Today was our last in Las Mercedes. We continued our work as Ruth and Tammy cleaned the church.

The man who lived here brought us fresh oranges, from his tree, two or three times during the week. Rick and David wanted to bless him with a portion of food.

I’m so amazed at how God is softening the hearts here. Lives hardened by war and poverty are now changing. The amigo who brought us oranges was not a believer but we know that soon he will be.

After lunch the team gathered with the church to pray and bless them with some beans and rice. Pastor Isidro, Is-seed-dro, is thanking the team for coming. As always the blessings were ours.

How can one do hard physical work in very tough conditions, sleep on the floor, have no facilities, and yet take no pleasure in leaving? The graciousness and humility of the people is like a magnet. Perhaps we could learn something from this. We, the church, might be more attractive to those who don’t believe. That’s my sermonette for the day.

After many hugs and tearful good byes we left Las Mercedes but a piece of our hearts remain. May a cool breeze blow there today, and may the fragrance of our Lord continue to spread there.

God bless you all,

Lewis